It's always sad when a trusty accessory that has served me faithfully finally succumbs to age. The $20 riveted leather purse that I've carried to work nearly daily for the past 9 months, and on more occasions before that, has quit on me. The defect isn't "fatal" (as in "the bag doesn't empty its contents spontaneously"), but it's just not worth the cost of having it fixed. I've been carrying my nice black-and-white BCBG bag to work with me, but it's almost too nice for daily use. I'm always afraid that I'd spill something on it or get the buttery-soft leather scratched up. Hence, this weekend I went to sample sales and the mall in search of a classy bag that I can carry practicaly every day to work for the next few years. I'm practically a one-bag girl during the week, as I don't like the hassle of transferring all my things from one bag to another lest I'd leave something important behind. Given the daily use in a professional setting (in the office or in court), the potential bag has to be classic, sleek, sturdy, and not too big and unwieldy. Unfortunately, some of the bags had too high of a price tag for quality that is seriously lacking.
So I went home without what I've been looking for. But that's not to say I went home empty-handed. Instead, I went home with (oddly enough) a few bottles of nail polish. And I spent an uncharacteristically large sum on them.
The story behind coming home with three bottles of nail polish, all at different price levels, is quite amusing in of itself. I had walked into Bloomingdale's in search of a bag that someone told me about, hoping to find it on sale. I didn't find it. But on my way to the bag section, I passed through the rows of makeup counters, which were staffed a phalanx of makeup artists-cum-salespeople trying to grab my attention to "try" some of their products. With the exception of purchasing a Christmas gift there once, and trying out some makeup at a Macy's counter back in college, I haven't ventured to makeup counters at department stores, much less high-end ones. The reason is pretty obvious.
This time, however, I stopped at the Chanel counter out of curiosity. Given all that buzz over the various shades of "Le Vernis," I just had to see what makes them so special. The shades are very pretty, but I really didn't see why I would pay $20 for a bottle when I can go to the drug store to get something in the same or very similar shade for $1 to $8. The Black Satin shade, which was all the rage a year or two ago, really didn't impress me. I moved on to the display for the new Fall collection. There was a polish in a very lovely shade of dark fuschia-purple, but I've seen similar shades elsewhere. The Gold Fiction nail polish seemed pretty gimicky when I read about it (real 18k gold, blah blah blah), so I skipped that and went for the silver Kaleidoscope tester. When I saw it in a magazine, I really digged the gunmetal color. What I wanted is something dark without being completely black. Sadly, when I put it on, the polish was pretty but not all that dark. Since the Gold Fiction was the one I haven't tried yet, I figured I'd give it a go simply because it was there. To my surprise, it was really pretty. I just loved it. I could have bought it right then and there, but $30 was a lot to spend on a bottle of nail polish. I decided to walk around the mall some more to see if I can find a comparable (and cheaper) shade.
When I went into the MAC store, there were many crazy colors that I definitely cannot find in a drug store. I found that gunmetal shade I've been looking for, but I was just mesmerized by the acid-yellow-gold Phosphor. I've been looking for a yellow nail polish I liked, and this was it. It is completely fun, and I love metallics. Since the nail polish was $11 per bottle, I had to choose between the gunmetal or the yellow. The yellow won. Since it is not very difficult for me to get to a MAC store, I figured the gunmetal one can wait for another day.
[I usually have a thing against foot shots, but I'll make an exception this time out of expedience. The polish was totally rocking when sported with black open-toed flats today.]
Since neither the Chanel counter nor the MAC store had nail polish remover, I went over to Sephora. Upon cleaning off my nails, I discovered a $6 bottle of nail polish that greatly resembles the fuschia-purple Chanel nail polish I tried on. So, I took it home with me.
As my shopping trip wound down and I still couldn't find the work bag I wanted, I thought it would be a good time to leave. Still, I couldn't stop thinking about the Gold Fiction polish. I had gone as far as the parking lot, only to realize I was on the wrong side and had to go around again, and also to pay for parking at an automated pay stations. I ended up backtracking from whence I came, and then some. I backtracked all the way to Bloomingdale's, and I bought that bottle of nail polish. I don't think I've ever wanted something badly enough to go back and purchase it *at full price* EVER, but the lure was too strong for me this time.
As extravagant as this is (I'm not even going to justify it with a "seems"), I don't regret my decision. The nail polish is something I do love and something I can afford. Given the real possibility of it selling out, and given the fact that Bloomingdale's is nowhere near where I live, work, or visit, I probably wouldn't have been able to buy it if I were to change my mind later. For the amount of money spent, I actually got a rather good product. Some may find the color to be too subtle for their taste, but I actually like the subtlety of the rosy shade of gold. The MAC Phosphor polish is bright and raucous, which I love, but having it on means I can't show up to court tomorrow morning wearing peeptoe pumps. The Gold Fiction, however, can be best described as "understatedly glamorous." I can see that I have something on, and it is very pretty, but the color doesn't not call for too much attention, and it is certainly not tacky (as gold sometimes can be). This is exactly what I need for a polished, professional look. I must add that even a single sheer layer looks great, though another coat makes the color more intense.
[Edited to add: After doing a little bit of Googling, I found that Opi makes a pretty close alternative. It doesn't look like it's very easy to find, but it's a far less expensive alternative. (Edited again to add:) Sara found it, though--the Opi shade called "I Only Drink Champagne." ]
Finally, when I spend good money on something (be it good wine or nail polish), it is best enjoyed with family and friends. My mom can use it when she wants. My sister will take up my offer at a later time. As for my friends, they are of course welcomed to borrow the bottle the next time they drop by, or the next time I visit (for another round of Wii Fit, perhaps?).